3. Albertine, 972 5th Avenue
Here’s one for the Francophile in all of us: Albertine, located at the back of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the former Payne-Whitney mansion on Fifth Avenue. It’s not exactly a likely place for a bookstore, but with a beautiful, well-lit space and a broad selection, it won’t disappoint. Brush up your language skills with translations, pick up your favorite French philosopher, or take on Proust— you’ll be surprised at how much there is to discover. It’s your chance to step into this amazing building, which was formally mostly off-limits to the public.
Mansions of Fifth Avenue Tour
If you have time to spare, the upstairs area of Albertine is a perfect reading space, replete with comfy chairs, lighting reminiscent of lanterns, and a Grand Central-like design of the stars on the ceiling based on the ceiling at the Villa Stuck in Munich. Whether you buy a book or bring your own, it’s the perfect hidden getaway from the bustle of the city. Join us on our next Gilded Age Mansions of 5th Avenue tour to step inside!